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CQC outlines ‘more flexible, targeted approach’ in new strategy

Ian Trenholm

The CQC is to take a more flexible, targeted approach to inspections as part of its new strategy that launched today.

While on-site inspections will remain a vital part of regulation, the CQC signalled its move to a flexible, targeted system using a range of regulatory methods, tools and techniques to assess quality and ensure an up-to-date picture.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive at the Care Quality Commission (pictured) said: “Our purpose has never been clearer. In our assessments we will ensure that services actively take into account people’s rights and their unique perspectives on what matters to them.

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“We will use our powers proportionately and act quickly where improvement is needed, whilst also ensuring we shine a positive light on the majority of providers who are setting high standards and delivering great care.

“This is not a static strategy – we will continue working with others to understand any further improvements required as we implement these changes, to make sure we are protecting people, and with others, driving change.”

Changes include assessing how well local health and care systems are working and addressing local challenges, which is likely to be underpinned by legislation in the forthcoming Health and Social Care Bill.

The regulator also pledge to make it easier for service users and their families to give feedback about their care, including engaging with the disadvantaged and those who are more likely to have poor outcomes or traumatic experiences.

In addition, the CQC said it would increase scrutiny of how providers encourage people to give feedback and how the response to this is used to improve their service.

The regulator said it would use innovative analysis, artificial intelligence and data science techniques to support decisions and provide information on quality, including ratings, so that these are more relevant, up to date and meaningful.

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